Daily Current Affairs and GK | 2 July 2021

Half Yearly (Jan- Jun 2021)
2021 Book

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Topic: Report and Indices

1. Union Education Minister releases Report on UDISE 2019-20 for School Education.

  • Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ released the Report on United Information System for Education Plus (UDISE) 2019-20 for School Education in India.
  • Highlights of Report on United District Information System for Education Plus (UDISE+) 2019-20:
    • According to this report, Gross Enrolment Ratio and Pupil-Teacher Ratio have improved in 2019-20 at all levels of school education.
    • Enrolment of girls from primary to higher secondary has also increased in 2019-20 as compared to 2018-19.
    • Divyang students enrollment has improved by over 6.5 percent over 2018-19. The Gender Parity Index at Secondary and Higher Secondary levels has also improved.
    • Number of schools having internet facilities increased to 3.6 lakh in 2019-20.
    • Now, more than 84% of schools have library/reading room/ reading corner.
    • The hand wash facilities in schools have also improved in more than 90 percent schools.
    • More than 83% of schools had electricity in 2019-20.
 

Topic: Important Days

2. World UFO Day: 2 July

  • World UFO Day is observed every year on 2 July to raise awareness about Unidentified Flying Objects.
  • It was first celebrated by UFO researcher Haktan Akdogan in 2001.
  • The main objective of the day is to encourage governments to declassify files related to UFO sightings.
  • It is also observed as the anniversary of the Roswell UFO incident of 1947.
  • In 2001, World UFO Day Organisation (WUFODO) announced to celebrate 2nd July as World UFO day.
  • UFO (Unidentified Flying Objects): A UFO is an unidentified flying object that cannot immediately be identified or explained.

 

Topic: Reports and Indices

3. India’s rank moves up three places in Global Startup Ecosystem Index 2021 by Startup Blink.

  • India’s rank has moved up three places in Global Startup Ecosystem Index 2021 released by Startup Blink.
  • India is ranked at 20th spot among the top 100 countries in Global Startup Ecosystem Index 2021 by Startup Blink. India was ranked at 23 in 2020.
  • Like last year, US, UK, Israel, Canada and Germany are in the top five spots in this year’s ranking.

Country

Rank in Global Startup Ecosystem Index 2021

US

1

UK

2

Israel

3

Canada

4

Germany

5

India

20

  • In the report, a score is calculated for each location as the sum of three parameters- quantity, quality and business environment.
    • Quantity parameter: number of start-ups, number of co-working spaces, etc.
    • Quality parameter: number of employees per start-up, the presence of unicorns, global start-up events, etc.
    • Business environment parameter: ease of registering companies and doing business, internet speed and freedom, level of English proficiency, research and development investment, number of patents per capita, etc.
  • India has 43 of its cities listed in the top 1000 cities in the ranking. Bengaluru, New Delhi and Mumbai are listed in the top 20.
  • Bengaluru stands at 10th spot among cities. It ranks first among cities from India. New Delhi ranks second in India.
  • Mumbai is the third Indian city in the top 20. It ranks third in India and South Asia. Out of the 43 Indian cities in the top 1,000, there are nine new entrants on the list this year.

Startup Blink is a startup ecosystem map and research center. It provides free quality information for startup founders and stakeholders.

Topic: Appointments

4. Air Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari and Lt. Gen. Sanjeev Kumar Sharma take charge.

  • Air Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari took over as Vice Chief of the Air Staff and Lt. Gen. Sanjeev Kumar Sharma took over as Deputy Chief of the Army Staff (Strategy).
  • Air Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari succeeds Air Marshal H.S. Arora, who retired on 30 June. Air Marshal Chaudhari was Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C) of the Western Air Command.
  • Air Marshal B.R. Krishna took over as the new AOC-in-C of the Western Air Command.
  • Air Marshal P.M. Sinha assumed office as DG Air Operations. Air Chief Marshal R.K.S. Bhadauria will retire by September-end.
  • Lt. Gen. Sanjeev Kumar Sharma took over from Lt. Gen. Paramjit Singh. Lt. Gen. Paramjit Singh superannuated on June 30. Lt. Gen. Paramjit Singh was the first Deputy Chief (Strategy).
  • Lt. Gen. Sunil Puri Goswami took over office as the 13th Director General of Army Air Defence.

Air Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari and Lt. Gen. Sanjeev Kumar Sharma

Topic: Indian Economy

5. India reports current account surplus of 0.9% in FY 2021.

  • For FY21, India reported a current account surplus of 0.9 percent of GDP. In the fiscal year 2020, the current account balance to GDP ratio in India was negative 0.9 percent.
  • India’s current account deficit widened to 1% of GDP in the March quarter of FY21. The trade deficit has contracted to USD 102.2 billion from USD 157.5 billion in FY21.
  • In FY 21, net invisible receipts were lower than the previous year due to an increase in net outgo of overseas investment income payments and lower net private transfer receipts.
  • Despite the pandemic, the foreign direct investment and Private transfer receipts have increased in the FY21.
  • Private transfer receipts have also increased by 1.7 percent than the previous financial year. Private transfer receipts represent the remittances by Indians from overseas.
  • Net foreign portfolio investment (FPI) has also increased by USD 7.3 billion in FY 21.
  • According to RBI data, India reported an inflow of USD 0.2 billion as External commercial borrowings in FY 21 as compared to USD 21.7 billion in 2019-20.
  • India reported a current account surplus for the first time in 17 years. The last time the current account ended in a surplus was in 2003-04.

Current account: It represents a country's imports and exports of goods and services, payments made to foreign investors, and transfers such as foreign aid.

 

India reports current account surplus of 0.9% in FY 2021

 

Topic: State News/ Andhra Pradesh

6. Andhra Pradesh launched new IT policy for the year 2021-24.

  • The Andhra Pradesh government launched the new ‘AP Information Technology Policy 2021-24’. It will help in generating more than 55,000 jobs over the next three years.
  • The new IT Policy will provide end-to-end support to startups. It will provide office space, access to investors and mentors, funds through venture capitals, and other commonly shared services.
  • The government will also establish incubation centers and conduct hackathons and workshops for startups. It would also establish an IT Emerging Technologies Research University in Visakhapatnam to develop cutting-edge emerging technologies.
  • Digital libraries and workplaces will be also set up at the gram panchayat level.
  • The new IT policy would create 1.65 lakh indirect employment in the state and will generate a revenue of Rs 783 crore over 10 years.

Andhra Pradesh:

It is an Indian state located in the south-eastern coastal region.

It shares its border with states like Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Telangana.

It was the first state to be formed on the linguistic basis on the recommendation of the States Reorganisation Commission.

Bishwabhushan Harichandan is the governor of Andhra Pradesh and Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy is the Current Chief Minister of the state.

 

Topic: National News

7. Cabinet approves implementation of BharatNet project through Public Private Partnership Model.

  • The Union Cabinet has approved the revised implementation strategy of BharatNet through Public Private Partnership mode in 16 States.
  • Now, the BharatNet project will cover all inhabited villages in the remaining States and UTs. It will cover around 3.61 lakh villages in the country.
  • Around 2.5 lakh village panchayats have been connected with broadband under the BharatNet initiative.
  • The revised strategy includes the creation, upgradation, operation, maintenance, and utilization of BharatNet by the concessionaires.
  • PPP Model will use private sector efficiency for operation, maintenance, utilization and revenue generation. Private Sector Partner will help in providing high-speed broadband services to all villages.
  • PPP model will bring innovative technology and Competitive tariffs for services.

Bharatnet Project:

National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) was started in October 2011. In 2015, NOFN was renamed as BharatNet.

The aim of the project is to connect 2,50,000 villages through free wi-fi services.

Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is the nodal agency for implementing BharatNet.

It is funded by the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF).

Topic: Biotechnology and Diseases

8. Zydus to launch world’s first Plasmid DNA vaccine for COVID-19.

  • Zydus Cadila has applied for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for its Plasmid DNA vaccine for Covid-19.
  • ZyCoV-D is the world’s first Plasmid DNA vaccine for COVID-19. The company has conducted clinical trials in over 50 centers.
  • This vaccine has 66.6% efficacy in symptomatic RT-PCR positive cases while it has 100% efficacy for moderate disease.
  • Both Phase I/II and Phase III clinical trials have been monitored by an independent Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB). It has been also tested in the adolescent population of 12-18 years age group.
  • ZyCoV-D is based on the plug and play technology for dealing with the mutations of coronavirus. It produces spike protein, which will help in responding coronavirus with the help of cellular and humoral arms of the human immune system.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

9. Rajendra Kishore Panda won Kuvempu Rashtriya Puraskar.

  • Renowned Odia poet Dr. Rajendra Kishore Panda has been awarded the Kuvempu Rashtriya Puraskar.
  • He was selected by a three-member committee under the chairmanship of Prof Hampa Nagarajaiah.
  • Dr Rajendra Kishore Panda has got various awards including the Gangadhar National Award in 2010, and the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1985.
  • He has published 16 poetry collections and a novel. Drohavakya, Dujanari, Ishakhela, and Chidabhas are some notable works of Rajendra Kishore Panda.

Kuvempu Rashtriya Puraskar:

It was instituted by Rashtrakavi Kuvempu Trust in 2013.

It is given for outstanding literary work in any language recognized by the Constitution of India.

It carries a cash award of Rs 5 lakh, a silver medal, and a citation.

It is given in the memory of a famous poet Kuvempu.

Topic: Biotechnology and Diseases

10. WHO declares China as Malaria-free.

  • World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared China as Malaria-free.
  • In the 1940s, China used to report 30 million cases in a year. Now, it had not reported any case for four years. As a result, China has received malaria-free certification from WHO.
  • As per WHO, China is the 40th country to be declared malaria-free.
  • China used various methods to stop the transmission of parasites via mosquitos.
  • It used methods such as anti-malarial drugs, spraying of mosquito breeding grounds and distribution of insecticide-treated nets.
  • A country can apply to WHO for malaria-free certification if it reports no indigenous case till four consecutive years.

Malaria:

It is caused by Plasmodium parasites. The parasites are transmitted to people through bites of infected female anopheles mosquitoes.

It starts with symptoms like fever, headaches and chills. It is preventable and curable.

In 2019, African region was home to 94% of malaria cases and deaths.    

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

11. Indian Navy signs pact with Bharat Electronics Limited to develop emerging technologies.

  • Indian Navy has signed a pact with Bharat Electronics Limited to develop emerging technologies in the fields of artificial intelligence, quantum computing and robotics.
  • The Memorandum of understanding (MoU) contains provision for the setting up of Technology Incubation Forum (TIF) to jointly work on developing new technologies.
  • Technology development in the domain of weapons and sensors, information technology and emerging technologies are included in the broad charter of TIF.

Bharat Electronics Limited:

It is a Navratna Public Sector Undertaking.

It is one of the nine PSUs under Defence Ministry.

It was formed in 1954. It is headquartered in Bengaluru.

Topic: Personality in News

12. K.V. Sampath Kumar, editor of Sudharma, passes away.

  • K.V. Sampath Kumar, the editor of Sudharma, passed away. Sudharma is India’s and the world’s only Sanskrit daily.
  • He and his wife Vidushi K.S. Jayalakshmi were awarded the Padma Shri in 2020 by the government.
  • Sampath Kumar’s father Pandit K.N. Varadaraja Iyengar had launched Sudharma in 1970.
  • Sampath Kumar launched the e-paper of the newspaper and now the paper had gone digital.

K.V. Sampath Kumar

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

13. HAUSLA scheme launched by Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir.

  • HAUSLA scheme has been launched by Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha.
  • HAUSLA scheme is a comprehensive programme aimed at women entrepreneurship in UT.
  • Its objective is to build a comprehensive programme for women entrepreneurs of the region which can serve as a guide for achieving success in their business and to widen the reach of their business products and services.
  • The scheme shall also be disseminating knowledge about promotion policies of governments for women entrepreneurs.
  • It shall also be providing access to enterprise education and training with a focus on business development.
  • Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha also talked about ‘Back to Village’ programme of the government.  
 

 

 

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